Archive for fitness commentary

Good and Bad in NYC Fitness Today

by Meaghan posted July 13, 2017

I know some people like to hear the bad news first to get it out of the way, but I believe in starting with a positive. That said, here are some recent good and bad goings-on in the fitness industry, starting with what should be a GREAT upcoming presentation:

Tony G in NYC

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Warm-up Sets Count! (Another Quick Rant)

by Meaghan posted May 18, 2017

Having been a coach and teacher in the fitness industry for quite some time now (I’ll refrain from stating an exact number of years since it’s starting to make me feel old, but let’s just say it’s been long enough that I need to count toes…), I’ve developed some pet peeves.

rant-warning

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Why New Year’s Resolutions Ultimately Fail

by Meaghan posted December 28, 2016

If there’s one profession that knows about New Year’s resolutions, it’s fitness.

keep-those-fitness-resolutions

Every January, personal trainers, group fitness instructors and employees of gyms around the globe enjoy (suffer?) a flock of newcomers who swear that ‘This is the year!’ that they’re going to get in shape.

Yet, come mid-February, gyms are no busier than any other time of year. So what gives?

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The Importance of Culture and Community in Training

by Meaghan posted November 6, 2015

Today we have another great post from Brent Carter, Starting Strength Coach extraordinaire!  

As I write this, my hip flexor is killing me, my back feels like it was beaten with a baseball bat, and my legs feel like jello. BUT, I have never felt better! This is because I just had the wonderful opportunity to lead a team of lifters at the 2015 Starting Strength Fall Classic to a victorious team win!

Team FPTI  wins!

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Is “Agility” Training as Productive as We Think?

by Meaghan posted May 13, 2015

To cut straight to the chase, my answer is NO – at least not the way we typically perform it.

Before you get all excited, hear me out. Let’s start by looking at some of the most common “agility” drills that we do with our athletes and clients.

First, we have side shuffles, purported to improve agility in athletes like basketball players:

But what is agility really? Agility is defined as the ability to start, stop, slow down, speed up or change direction. And I would add that in order to actually improve agility, we’d have to do these things in response to an unpredictable cue, as this is how things work in sport and in life.

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Q&A: What Do I Do When My Clients Ask for Things They Can Do “On Their Own?”

by Meaghan posted October 24, 2014

I want to thank two exceptionally inquisitive students in our current Theory and Application class for inspiring me to write about this. Jennifer and Juan, thank you!

Thank you because I think this is a common concern for many trainers and isn’t always handled in a manner that serves anyone’s best interest – as we discussed yesterday – and this gives me a chance to offer some advice on the matter.

SO, what does it mean and what do you do when your client says, “Can you give me some things I can do on my own?”

oh-no-baby

 

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4 More Beneficial Things You Could Do in 4 Hours and 26 minutes Than Plank

by Meaghan posted October 9, 2014

I’m sure we’ve all heard by now about the new world plank record set by Mao Weidong: 4 hours and 26 minutes.

Plank-World-Record_0

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The Paleo Diet May Not Be Paleo At All

by Meaghan posted September 24, 2014

Given that THIS article just came out in the NY Times, we thought it necessary to shed some light on the topic of the current diet trend known as “Paleo.” Did you know that regardless of its potential health benefits, the “Paleo” Diet might not actually be Paleolithic in nature?

is-it-paleo

If you actually read the research, there’s no real evidence to show that our ancestors – at least not everyone’s ancestors – ate a diet of predominantly meats, vegetables and berries. Read THIS review paper on the subject and you’ll learn that studies suggest our ancestors ate what was available, and this varied greatly across regions and changed greatly across time.

Think about it: When survival is at stake, you’ll eat anything – and that’s likely what they did. Much of the problem today is that people still do this even when they’re far from starvation… True, we have processing methods today  that we didn’t have back then, and processed foods are surely causing a host of health problems. But I have a very hard time believing that our incredibly adaptable species has not also adjusted its regulatory mechanisms over the years to better utilize what is available today in order to continue surviving.

Additionally, even way back when, we see evidence that diet was mostly learned behavior and passed on, much like it is today. Go figure.

Bottom line: While eating a diet like Paleo that is rich in lean meats and vegetables is certainly better for health than a diet high in processed meats and sugars, the health benefits of eating “Paleo” have more to do with the promotion of nutrient-dense whole foods and banning of nutrient-void, calorie-dense “food” than with the premise that this is how we are “meant to eat” based on ancestry.

To learn more about the Paleo Diet and other nutrition trends, check out our new Nutrition Facts and Fallacies course at FPTI. We sold out the first one last weekend, so we’ll be running another in November. Stay tuned for details!

 

Vibram Pays Back Millions for False Claims

by Meaghan posted May 8, 2014

Remember back a couple of years ago when Vibram got sued for making false claims that their FiveFingers shoes prevented injury and increased foot strength? (If not, you can read about it HERE.)

Well, it looks like the company has finally agreed to pay back millions of dollars to the people – many of whom got injured – who believed these claims and purchased the shoes (although Vibram denies any wrongdoing). Check it out HERE!

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter, so feel free to chime in with a comment.

Personally, I think the idea of minimalist running shoes is a good one, just a little premature. We do have some research supporting lesser impact forces when landing on the midfoot versus the heel, but nothing on the carryover to injury rates or performance. And the real problem arises when one jumps into a pair after having run for years in more supportive footwear and never actually changes his/her foot strike pattern… Other thoughts?

BostonStrong(er)

by Meaghan posted April 22, 2014

As you know, yesterday marked the 118th Annual Boston Marathon. But to the runners, spectators and anyone who has ever called Boston home, it marked a much greater victory. Not only did the community pull together to rise above last year’s tragic bombings that stopped the race short, it came back bigger and stronger than ever.

More athletes competed – some 36,000 even.

 

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